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Football: Skyview too much for Beamer in first-ever postseason appearance, 42-33.
In their first-ever postseason appearance, the Todd Beamer football team proved worthy, but not victorious.
The Greater St. Helen's League champion-Skyview Storm survived Saturday night with a 42-33 win over the Titans in a Class 4A state preliminary game at Vancouver's Kiggins Bowl. The win moves the Storm into the 16-team state playoffs and ends Beamer's season. The Titans finished in fourth place in the South Puget Sound League South Division.
Beamer (4-6) just couldn't stop Skyview's quick-strike offense enough times during the night. The Storm (8-2) racked up over 400 yards of total offense, including 283 on the ground. Both Ellis Henderson and Parker Henry rushed for over 100 yards and quarterback Kieran McDonagh threw for 128.
But the Beamer offense, led by senior quarterback T.J. Esekielu, was also potent Saturday night. Just not potent enough in the end.
Esekielu finished with 349 yards of total offense, including 218 yards on the ground on an amazing 43 carries. He was also 10 for 20 through the air for 131 yards.
On the season, Esekielu finished with 1,604 yards on the ground and 1,402 through the air, giving him 3,006 yards of total offense on the year.
Things didn't start off too good Saturday for Beamer. Skyview jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead in front of their home crowd.
But the Titans didn't panic and answered with two touchdowns of their own to cut the Storm lead to 14-13 early in the second quarter after Skyview blocked an extra point. Esekielu hit senior tight end Nicky Fualaau with an 8-yard touchdown pass and Lavon Anderson punched the ball in from 2 yards out.
Following the Anderson touchdown, Skyview used its quick-strike offense once again with a three-play, 56-yard TD drive to go up 21-13.
But Esekielu and the Titans responded again with an 80-yard touchdown drive with 1:29 left in the half, ending in a 3-yard TD run by Esekielu to cut the lead to 21-19.
Skyview, however, tallied a momentum-building touchdown in the waning seconds of the first half on an 8-yard run to take a 28-19 lead into the locker room.
The Storm then needed only two plays to open the second half with another touchdown. This time, Reiley Henderson took a swing pass and jetted 70 yards for the score and a commanding 35-19 lead.
But the Titans rallied once again. Anderson scored his second touchdown of the game later in the third quarter and Marly Liulama added a 2-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown to cut the Skyview lead to just three points, 35-32 with just more than three minutes to play in the game.
After the Liulama score, the Titans recovered an onside kick, but the Skyview defense held Beamer and forced a turnover on downs. The Storm's Ellis Henderson scored a late 56-yard touchdown to finalized the score.
Beamer senior wide receiver Dominique Maxie finished the game with 63 yards on the ground on two carries and Willie Roach led the Titans with 77 yards receiving.
In other football games:
• at Federal Way 35, Tahoma 14 — The Eagles (4-6) ended their season Thursday night with a big win at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.
Federal Way jumped out to a 14-0 lead with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. Rod Jones ran in one from 2 yards out and Stanley Matau recovered a blocked punt in the endzone.
It was more of the same in the second half, when Federal Way got a touchdown run by tailback D.J. May and a pair of TD passes from senior quarterback Nick Tanielu to Marcel Morris and Blake Koler. Tanielu finished 14 for 21 for 179 and the two touchdowns and Koler caught five balls for 77 yards.
May finished the game with 25 carries for 193 yards. The Beamer transfer ended up with 1,310 yards on the season and 11 touchdowns.
• at Spanaway Lake 36, Jefferson 22 — The Raiders ended their season Thursday night with a loss to the Sentinels at Art Crate Stadium in Spanaway in an SPSL crossover game. The loss dropped TJ's season record to 3-7.
Things started out solid for the Raiders Thursday night. Tight end Tim Luafatasaga hauled in a 29-yard pass from junior quarterback KW Williams in the first quarter to give TJ a quick 8-0 lead.
After the Sentinels tied the game at 8-8 with a second-quarter TD, the Raiders tallied the next 14 points to take a commanding 22-8 lead in the third quarter. Dylan Cooper scored on a run from 21 yards out before halftime and Williams added a third-quarter, 31-yard touchdown run.
But that was as good as it would get for Jefferson. Spanaway Lake's Marqui Makupson returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to start a 28-0 run by Spanaway Lake during the second half.
Things, however, do look up for the Raider football program. Jefferson will return most of its starters next season, including Williams and Luafatasaga. A key loss will be senior running back Keegan Giles, who ran for over 1,500 yards this season.
• at Mount Tahoma 22, Decatur 0 — The Gators ended their season Friday night with a non-league game against the Mount Tahoma Thunderbirds in Tacoma. The shutout loss dropped Decatur to 1-9 during its first season as a Class 3A football team.
The Gators' lone win came against the Lincoln Abes in a non-league game earlier in the season. Decatur was shut out four times during its 10 games and scored only 85 points the entire season, while allowing 331.